Two weeks ago I met an engaged couple at the Nonconforming Bridal Fair. They were in the midst of planning their offbeat nuptials (being held at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington, VA) and had just learned that their outdoor ceremony required them to have/get/make some sort of altar.

They were stumped. I offered some quick advice on the spot ~ namely that altars don’t need to be anything huge, over the top, or expensive. For all intensive purposes, altars for weddings are really just a piece of decoration that centralizes the focal point onto the couple and officiant at the ceremony. It helps to encompass the specific area where you will be saying your vows and actually tying the knot.

I also shared that I had a similar issue with our “altar” for our wedding. We got married at the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC – so although there was an altar, it was HUGE and too open. Lucky for me, my sister had a great idea to use two candelabras (already on site at the church), two tall glass vases, and two of our DIY Christmas Ornament Pomanders, to bring that centralized focus to where we would be standing. It turned out great (or so I thought)!

In order to help Megan & Chris out, I told them I would put together a DIY Wedding Altar Inspiration post ~ Believe it or not, it wasn’t as easy as I thought to find, but hopefully some of the pictures and decor items below will help them out!!

Ok so this first one (courtesy of The Knot) probably won’t help Megan & Chris (sorry guys!) – but it is just sooo creative I couldn’t help myself! A surfboard altar!

Here are some that used potted plants or trees for a DIY Altar

(via Elizabeth Anne Designs)

(via Wedding Party Network)

A Ribbon “Altar” ~ this will give you ah-mazing pictures for sure!

(via Intimate Weddings)

Similar to the Ribbons – this Pennant Banner could work for a DIY Altar Idea!

(via Martha Stewart Weddings, with a DIY Tutorial here!)

This next one is my FAVORITE ~ it might look familiar because I used it on my Balloon Inspiration feature too, but it would make for such a fantastic ‘altar’ or ceremony background!!

(via Weddings & Cookies Blog)

Along with the balloons above, you could also just use two big bundles of smaller balloons (like the bundles the ladies are holding in the next picture) and place on either side!

(via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings blog)

These next two inspiration pictures are some of the coolest ideas I have ever seen – using FURNITURE for an altar! My mind just exploded.

(via Heather Jagger Photography)

Bookshelf Altar – flippin’ GENIUS. I am freakin’ out about this one …

(via Funny Wedding Cake Toppers)

Finally – I have seen couples use these hanging plant holders for along the aisle, like such:

BUT! You could very easily just get two of these and place on either side of the couple to make a simple, easy, DIY altar!

Hopefully some or all of these pictures helped Chris & Megan get some more ideas pumping to get a simple, DIY altar together for their outdoor wedding! Hope everyone else enjoyed it as well! Let us know if you end up using any of these ideas – we would LOVE to see them in action!



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